Power outages can be a scary time for homeowners, especially for those who don’t take the time to properly prepare. Outages usually are the result of rainstorms, snowstorms or some other kind of natural cause, but realistically, they can strike at any time.
Damage to the wiring near your home can leave you without electricity and can be caused by many things, so it’s smartest to prepare ahead of time, while you still have access to all of your home’s resources.
If you haven’t had to deal with a power outage yet, or you want to be better prepared for the next one that comes around, check out these quick and simple tips to getting your home ready for an emergency.
- Have an Emergency Kit on Hand
One of the simplest and most effective ways to staying prepared for a power outage in your home is just by keeping a stock of emergency supplies on hand. Keep a storage bin in a cool, dry and safe location. Fill the bin with all of the necessities – flashlights, batteries, nonperishable snacks, a first aid kit and a backup portable phone charger can all come in handy.
Feel free to add anything else you might need in case the power goes out. Depending on the climate you live in, you may also want to keep extra sweaters and blankets on hand. If you live in a warmer area, battery powered fans definitely come in handy as well.
- Know Your Home
A big part of being ready for an emergency just comes with understanding how your home functions and what it can do. Components of this include simple stuff, like knowing how to manually open your garage door in case you can’t use the electric opener.
You should also monitor your refrigerator and freezer. Most refrigerators can keep food cold without power for four hours when left unopened, while an unopened freezer can keep things frozen for an average of 48 hours. While this is the average experience, your refrigerator may function differently based on its age, power and the contents of what’s being stored inside of it.
Just be aware of these smaller details when dealing with power outages; this knowledge can carry you a long way.
- Consider Purchasing Helpful Tools
Another great way to be prepared for a power outage is to have the right tools on hand. Mainly: a reliable generator. There’s typically no need to haul out a generator if the power is only going to be out for a few hours, but if your outage goes overnight, you’re probably going to want to have some sort of dependable power source.
Generators vary in their functions and abilities, so be sure to consider the size of your home and what essentials you want to power before you purchase one. If you live in an area where power outages don’t occur often, you may want to consider buying a smaller, cheaper generator that won’t power your whole home. However, if power outages are frequent, a larger generator may benefit you and be worth its investment.
You can also consider a portable generator; these generators are built to be “on-the-go,” so you can get use out of them for things beyond power outages. Most portable generators are small but can still pack enough power to keep your refrigerator or a few lights running. Check out this list to find the best portable generator for you.
Overall, experiencing a power outage shouldn’t be a stressful time in your life. If you are careful to put the right preparations in place before it happens, all you have to do is hang out with your friends, family or roommates in the dark and play a few board games until the lights come back on. Follow our tips and it’ll be smooth sailing, no matter what.